I remember the moment with such clarity. Friday, May 1st, 2020. The task so seemingly benign, my afternoon trip to get the mail. I casually opened the mailbox and thumbed through the handful of letters. Then I saw it. The letter hit me like a ton of bricks.
My invitation to join AARP had arrived.
Hey! I was 49 for another week—let me live in denial for 7 more days! Well, down the reflective rabbit hole I went. There must be some “gifts” to turning 50, right?
How about looking back upon what you have accomplished? The family you have nurtured, your friendships built to last a lifetime, and of course, those years of hard work and savings to fund “the future”. It’s also a perfect time to look forward—treasuring those moments with family and friends and assessing what “the future” means to you.
The big question—are you on track for retirement on your terms? Now is the time to build up your IRA or 401(k) contributions, add to your non-retirement savings and stay disciplined with your budget. Check in on your asset allocation. Are you still comfortable with the risk in your portfolio as you were ten and twenty years ago?
Have you signed up for on-line access to your social security account (ssa.gov)? Are you familiar with retirement benefits you have earned at the workplace? One of the most important roles we can offer as advisors is to incorporate all of your financial resources—assets, social security, pensions, other retirement income—into a comprehensive financial plan. A roadmap for retirement.
But for now, back to my letter from AARP. Maybe I’ll join, maybe I’ll wait. But I did learn that Banana Republic offers 10% discount, and that Hertz Car Rental also gives deals to the 50+ set.
On a more serious note, the best gift you can give yourself at 50 is the gift of time. Take advantage of the many years ahead. You still have time to maximize your savings in these years before retirement, to course correct as needed. Don’t forget to dream of the life you want to live.
Both for today and tomorrow.
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